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CRPF trusts state hospitals little
- Poor infrastructure prompts treatment of injured jawans in distant Ranchi

The CRPF authorities do not trust the state-run hospitals in the city for the treatment of injured personnel because of alleged poor infrastructure.

A senior officer told The Telegraph on the condition of anonymity that the CRPF authorities did not want to take chance by admitting the injured CRPF personnel in any of the government hospitals in the city whose aerial distance from the site in Aurangabad where a series of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) went off while being defused is around 90km. The bleeding jawans were instead admitted to Apollo Hospitals in Ranchi, around 140km from the spot by air.

Justifying the decision to airlift the injured jawans to Ranchi, the senior CRPF officer said: “We didn’t want to take any chance by admitting them in any of the state-run hospitals in Patna. Their wards are unhygienic. There could have been high risk of infection had we admitted the injured CRPF personnel in PMCH (Patna Medical College and Hospital). The infrastructure problem in the state-run hospitals also stopped us from admitting the CRPF personnel to them.”

Deputy inspector-general, CRPF, Chiranjeev Prasad said the condition of Anugrah Narayan Medical and Hospital (ANMCH) in Gaya, where some of the injured CRPF personnel were admitted for initial treatment, was also not very good.

“Had it been good, we would have relied on its treatment and had admitted the critically injured CRPF jawan who lost his life in the Ranchi hospital there. But we decided to take him to Ranchi seeing its poor condition. There is a need for improving the condition of the district hospitals, especially in Naxalite-hit Aurangabad and Jamui. In both these areas, we make sure that our jawans go there for initial treatment. We shift them to other hospitals in New Delhi and other cities later when their condition improves,” said another senior CRPF officer.

Doctors found logic in the claims of the CRPF officers. A senior doctor of the surgery department of PMCH said: “Critically ill patients should not be taken to PMCH for treatment. For them, it is a ‘death trap’. MRI, a basic machine used in diagnosing internal injuries, is not available in the hospital. Though the hospital has basic surgical instruments like artery forceps and Allis forcep, they have become very old. We don’t get hundred per cent result using old equipment. The condition of burn ward is pathetic. In landmine and blast cases, burn injuries is common. In the burns ward of PMCH, air-conditioners don’t function. There is no segregation of patients. Neither patients nor their attendants wear masks and gloves.”

NMCH deputy superintendent Dr Santosh Kumar admitted that his hospital was incapable of handling critical patients. “We do not have super-specialised departments like neurosurgery, gastrointestinal surgery and nephrology.”

A doctor of Indira Gandhi Institute Medical Sciences also claimed that its condition was poor. “MRI and CT scan machines are not available in the hospital. Besides, the hospital does not have plastic surgery and cardio-thoracic departments,” he added.